Someone To Listen

By Richard Ruddle

 

 
 
 


Time: 10-12 Minutes

CAST: Ginger: A teenage girl seeking answers, Dad and Mom, Gingerís Parents, Todd, Gingerís Older Brother Tom, School Bus Driver, Susan & Cathy, Students at Gingerís school, April, and Gingerís New Friend

Scene: The kitchen of Gingerís home. She is seated at the table eating a bowl of cereal, as she gets ready to leave for the school bus stop. 

Props: Kitchen table & two kitchen chairs; seven chairs arranged to simulate school bus with single chair for driver and three rows of two chairs behind driver.





 

Ginger: (Thinking aloud) It doesnít do much good to complain. No one wants to listen! (Continues to eatÖ looks at watch) Not much time anyway, that darn school bus will be here in 10 minutes and they donít wait for anyone. I barely have time to get up and get dressed every morning. Rush! Rush! Rush!

Dad: (Enters hurriedly carrying brief case in one hand and coffee mug in the other.) Just enough time for a quick sip of coffee before I leave for work. Oh, Hello Ginger. Iíve got to run. (Walks toward door). 

Ginger: Dad, thereís something I want to talk with you about before you leave.

Dad: Not now honey, my boss is a regular ogre if anyone is late to the office. I canít afford to get in trouble now. Theyíd can me in a minute. Weíll talk another time.

(Pats Ginger on head and exits hastily).

Ginger: Sure, Sure. (Disappointedly) Another time. (Under breath) Thatís what you said the last ten or twelve times.

Todd: (Enters wearing back pack, writing on note pad.)

Ginger: Good morning Todd. Doing your homework from last night?

Todd: Yeah, Iíve got this paper due this morning and got in too late from the ball game last night to do it. Iím gonna catch it if this is not finished before class. (Scribbles notes on pad). This professor is really tough and wonít accept any excuses.

Ginger: Todd can you help me with something?

Todd: I canít be bothered with that little kid stuff. Iím in college now. Talk to Mom or Dad. (Looks off stage) Thereís the guys to pick me up now. Tell Mom I will probably be late again tonight; basketball practice. (Takes donut from box on table) and exits hurriedly) Wait guys, (horn blows) Iím coming, Iím coming.

Ginger: Doesnít anybody hear me when I speak? Canít anyone just stop and listen?

Mom; (Enters carrying a small box) Good morning dear. (Quick hug) Have you had breakfast? Donít forget to eat something before you leave for school. Iím volunteering at the Hospital this morning. (Raises box for Ginger to see). Weíre doing arts and crafts for the children. They really need a lot of love and attention. (Starts for door)

Ginger: Mom. Can I talk to you about something? I just need a few minutes.

Mom: Iím sorry honey, I have to drive over and pick up Charlotte and Annie. They both need rides this morning. Seems like Iím the only one they ever ask when they need some help. Iíll be home before nine tonight, maybe we can talk then. Iím sure it will wait. (Exits)

Ginger: It always does. Thereís the school bus now. (Picks up books, walks to opposite side of stage to school bus.)

Tom: Good Morning. Youíre the new transfer student arenít you? 

Ginger: Thatís me. My name is Ginger.

Tom: My name is Tom. Iíve been meaning welcome you, but with a bus full of kids I donít get much time to do anything but drive, try to keep order and not miss any stops. Iíve been on this route for a long time and weíve never been so busy. Weíve got a lot of new kids and I have a complicated route to follow.

Ginger: That must be hard.

Tom: It is. Especially when Iím trying to get to know the kids. Oh well, (shrugs) Iíll get to know you all eventually. (Pretends to start & drive bus). 

Ginger: (Sarcastically to self) Yeah, like December of 2099.

Students: Bus stops: Susan and Cathy get on, pass by Ginger without speaking, and give her disapproving glances. (Take seats in back row)

Ginger: (Smiling) Hi! Iím Ginger. I just transferred here two weeks ago. (Offers handshake that is ignored by Susan and Cathy. Both turn up noses, look at each other and wink.

Cathy: I hear there are some of THOSE people transferring to our school from the poorer districts. 

Susan: From the way they dress and fix their hair Iíd say the POOREST districts. (Both look at Ginger and snicker.) Susan and Cathy continue to talk in low semi-audible tones, frequently looking at Ginger and giggling). Not one of us!

Ginger: (Sits back down uttering an downhearted sigh).

April: (Bus stops and April gets on and sits next to Ginger.) Youíre the new girl; Iím April. (Extends hand, which Ginger accepts.)

Ginger: You the first one to act friendly and Iíve been on the bus for two weeks now.

April: Donít let them bother you. (Nods toward Cathy and Susan. They are the two biggest snobs in school. Families have money and lots of influence, you know. 

Ginger: Iím beginning to think Iím not wanted anywhere. I feel so alone and hopeless. I donít know what to do. I try to talk to my Parents but they have no time. I know they love me, but they have jobs and responsibilities. The School counselor canít see me for two weeks, that is if I have an appointment. No one else really seems to care. Grownups donít understand that we have real problems too.

April: I know what youíre saying. Every time I try to talk to my folks they are always too busy. ďWeíll talk about it laterĒ is what say; and they never do it.

Ginger: What do you do? How do you cope with it? Is there a place I can go where someone will just listen?

Tom: (Interrupts looking back over shoulder) Give it to God! 

Ginger: What?

Tom: I said, ďGive it to GodĒ Thatís what I do whenever Iím down and out, have a problem or just feeling blue. 

Ginger: What do you mean?

Tom: Prayer, Ginger! Thatís what I mean. Donít you know that God wants to hear from you? The bible says, ďThe prayer of the upright is His delight.Ē Can you imagine God being delighted to hear from me? Well, I trade my burdens to God in prayer every night and he gives me peace in exchange.

 

April: Heís right. You can come to church with me on Sunday and meet everyone. We have a youth group that meets regularly. We pray together, take trips and have a lot of fun. And you know what else, we all have the same kinds of problems you do. How about it?

Ginger: That sounds terrific. I feel better just thinking about it.

April: We help each other a lot too. You know, sometimes by our own attitudes or behavior we tell people we donít want to communicate, even when we really do. Sound familiar?

Ginger: Yeah; I guess I do that sometimes when I get frustrated. 

Tom: You know girls, the Lord always hears your prayers and is NEVER too busy to listen. Heís there 7 by 24. (Girls nod in agreement) Well Ginger, what are you going to do?

Ginger: Iím going to, ďGive it to God!Ē (Tom, Ginger and April do high fives).

The End


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